Asukayama Park is a public park near Oji station in Kita-ku in Northern Tokyo. It is known for Cherry Blossom viewing during the beginning of Springtime with over 600 Japanese cherry trees. It’s history started during the 18th century, when, shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa (1684-1751) built the premises for Edo’s (Tokyo) population. It was one of first public parks in Tokyo. In addition, one can watch the JR Keihin-Tohoku and the Tohoku Shinkansen pass by from the pedestrian crosswalk near the South exit of the Oji Station. To access Asukuyama Park get off at either 1. Oji Station: JR Keihin-Tohoku Line or Tokyo Metro Namboku Line 2. Asukayama Station: Toden Arakawa Line 3. Oji-Ekimae Station: Toden Arakawa Line.
Shimbashi is a business and entertainment district in Tokyo. Many “salaryman” (office worker) and “OL” (office lady) work in this area of the city because many business offices are located there. There are many affordable bars, izakayas, and restaurants in the area. Shimbashi station has seven different railway lines converge on Shimbashi including the Yamanote line (central Tokyo), Yokosuke line (Yokohama & Kamakura), Keihin-Tohoku line (Shinagawa & Yokohama), and the Ginza subway line (Asakusa & Shibuya). Shimbashi is known for being Tokyo’s first railway terminal, for the Tokyo to Yokohama line, from 1872 to 1914. During the night time Shimbashi becomes an intoxicated “salaryman” territory, full of karaoke, izakayas, bars, and on weekends many taxis to take home the drunken after missing their train or subway. Shimbashi is full of people and it’s a very busy district of Tokyo during the evening commute hour.
The Marunouchi Line is a subway line in Tokyo. It’s route is between Ogikubo Station in Suginami-ku in west Tokyo then running eastbound through Shinjuku, after that it runs through Tokyo Station eastbound, it finishes at Ikebukuro Station near the Yamanote Line. The Marunouchi Line was built after the war and was completed in 1954 and was named after the Marunouchi district near Tokyo Station. It is the one the most busiest and crowded of the subway lines in Tokyo and runs both below and above ground. The subway has a unique third-rail electric system and it’s cars are only 18m per car. Recently in early 2019 the new red colored 2000 series trains came into service with lower power consumption and wheelchair and stroller access.
Photograph taken in October 2019
Yanaka and Nezu located in Bunkyo ward in Tokyo is a community where you can see a slower paced life with charm. It’s also less commercialized with the prevalence of family or smaller owned businesses. It is characterized by back alleys, stores, pubs, and well maintained homes. This area survived the firebombing in World War II so you find many older buildings and temples.
In the Northeast corner of Tokyo lies Arakawa City which is called the “City of Manufacturing.” But it also has a rich history, culture, and charm. Some of the features of Arakawa are the Toden Arakawa Line or Sakura Line which is the only streetcar in Tokyo, Arakawa Yuen an amusement park, and the Sumida River. Arakawa City is where one can experience everyday life in Tokyo.
Shimokitazawa is a mini town in Setagaya, Tokyo with small and independently owned stores and businesses. There are many vintage shops and second-hand clothing, stylish cafes, small theaters, and unique snacks. One section of Shimokitazawa are decorated by mural artists. The business owners asked artists to draw murals on the shutters to brighten the neighborhood.
I visited Le Bage Bagel Shop in Yanaka by chance walking through Yanaka in Tokyo. Photograph of owner.
The Le Bage Bagel Shop is a good place to stop in a quiet neighborhood of Yanaka. The store originated in Nara and moved to Tokyo in 2017.
The business is committed to quality by using 100% Hokkaido domestic wheat blended with raw sugar from Kagoshima Prefecture and salt from Brittany, France. The bagel has a unique sweet honey flavor which is quite delicious.
Bagel are said to have originated in Poland in the 17th century. They are baked and boiled before baking. The basic ingredients of bagels are wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast.
The unique flavors of Le Bage Bagel Shop make it stand out like: wheat, rye, pumpkin, black sesame, lemon tea, fig, dukkah, matcha white chocolate, matcha bean paste, mugwort bean paste, and curry.
If you are visiting the Yanaka area in Tokyo I recommend you please visit.
2-5-13 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo BAGLE SHOP Le bage
Tokyo Station is the hub of the nationwide railway network in Japan since it opened in 1914. It serves approximately 420,000 passengers per day with numerous train lines. The station has contributed to the development of the surrounding business district as the center of Tokyo.
One historical event at Tokyo Station was when the Tokaido Shinkansen Line opened in 1964 during the Tokyo Olympics. In 2003 Tokyo Station was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. In 2014 after a five year 50 billion yen major renovation project Tokyo Station was completed .
Beneath Tokyo Station there are extensive shopping arcades with restaurants, cafes, stores, and several hotels. Some highlights of businesses inside are the Tokyo Ramen Street, Tokyo Okashi Land (sweets), and Tokyo Character Street (Japanese heroes & characters). It is a city within a city.